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Q: Car lunged backward 10 feet in parking lot

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Recently I was parked in a large parking lot and when I got into my car and turned it on, it lunged backwards. Instead of backing out of the parking spot, I decided to make a call using my bluetooth. That took about 10 minutes and then after hanging up, I released the emergency brake, moved the stick shift to Reverse, and had my foot on the brake. When I released the brake, the car lunged backward very hard, about 10 feet across the parking lot where other cars could have been parked or a pedestrian, but fortunately were not. I immediately put my foot on the brake, stopping the car. I don't have any idea what caused the lunging of the engine. I've driven Toyotas for many years and never had this before. When researching online, I deducted that it might have been the power train that was the problem. Do you agree or is it something else and what should I do?

A few different things can cause the transmission to lurch like this. The most common would be something obstructing the gas pedal, a transmission issue, brake fault, or a transmission range switch issue. The vehicle should not be driven until this issue is resolved as it makes the car unsafe for the road.

I’d recommend having the vehicle looked at by a qualified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, who will be able to inspect your brake system and transmission. Once the issue has been pinpointed, an accurate repair can then be made.

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